Criminal Justice Schools Tips

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What Should I Consider before Enrolling in a Bachelors Program in Criminal Justice?

Bachelors Programs in Criminal Justice: On Campus

If you are interested in obtaining a bachelors degree in criminal justice there are colleges in every state that will offer you this opportunity. You have the option to choose from Samford University's program in Paralegal Studies (in Birmingham, Alabama) to the State University of New York's Albany-based program in Criminal Justice to San Diego State University's program. The search options become not only a question of which specialties and schools that you find appealing, but also what kind of living environment is appealing, practical (socially, financially, job friendly), and what your time-line is. This will ensure that you obtain a degree from the criminal justice program that meets the majority of your needs and wants.

It is suggested that you select your top three schools in different parts of the country and really hone in your application process and your detailed research process to those schools. Select these three schools based on those same principles: quality of program, financial reality, potential for job opportunities, and social climate. Make a list of your most important expectations and needs and try to find a school that supplies those requirements first.

What are My Options in Terms of a PhD Program in Criminal Justice?

Online PhD In Criminal Justice

Chances are that if you have already decided to obtain a PhD in criminal justice, you have determined your area of specialty and, possibly, are considering attendance at the same university in which you obtained your masters. For those who are interested in obtaining their PhD coursework credits online, there are a few options, such as through Capella University and Walden University.

Capella University offers specialty degrees, such as the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety Criminal Justice Specialization and the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety Emergency Management Specialty (which can be linked to jobs/research for the Department of Homeland Security and/or university jobs).

If you are interested in obtaining a PhD online in the field of criminal justice, contact schools and request informational packets, interview contacts, and a list of possible career opportunities/frequency of job success upon graduation. It is also recommended that you thoroughly examine your job interests and if those interests require a PhD.

Many people mistakenly assume that a PhD in any field automatically ensures job security and financial success upon graduation. PhD programs are a huge financial and time investment and are not always necessary to obtain success in the job world. If you are interested in working as a professor or a criminal psychologist, however, this degree may be necessary.

What are My Options in Terms of Online Bachelors Degree Programs?

Online Bachelors Degree In Criminal Justice

If you are interested in obtaining your Bachelors in Criminal Justice, consider an online learning opportunity. Online bachelors programs can save time, energy and money, and they can also be just as reputable as a universiaty campus degree. Prior to seeking your bachelors in criminal justice, indicate a specialty or area of interest, as the higher your education the more options you will have in terms of specific major. If you are not yet sure of which area of criminal justice interests you (be it economic management, corrections or law enforcement) conduct professional interviews, research online programs and get in contact with students and/or alum from the programs that most interest you.

What are Some of the Top Schools in Criminal Justice?

Three Top Schools in Criminal Justice

According to US News and World Report the three most reputable and/or successful programs in criminal justice are at Syracuse University, Drury University, and University of Louisville. Each of these programs offers a different flavor of the criminal justice field, and each is in a very different part of the country. Specialties exist within each program; for example, you can obtain a certificate in Terrorism: Issues and Analysis online through Drury University, but would have to attend the school in Springfield, MO.

What are the Top PhD Programs in Criminology?

Top PhD Programs in Criminology

Many people who choose to get a PhD in criminal justice studies focus on the area of either criminology or criminal psychology. These are among the few areas of focus in the field that require a minimum of a masters degree, and most commonly, require a PhD.

According to U.S. News and World Reports reputable college ranking system, the three top graduate programs in Criminology are:

  • University of Maryland (College Park)
  • SUNY Albany
  • University of Cincinnati
While these are the top-ranked schools, it is still suggested that you research each of these individually before you just apply. It is important to remember that rankings do not always include areas of specialty interest and do not always indicate that a school will meet your specific needs.

What Should I Consider Prior To Obtaining My Masters Degree in Criminal Justice?

Masters Programs in Criminal Justice: On Campus

Options for those wishing to obtain a masters degree in criminal justice are just as plentiful, if not more so than for those seeking a bachelors degree. Again, there are schools to select from coast-to-coast, so the important element in determining which criminal justice masters program to attend will be the area of specialty that most interests you.

Obtaining a masters degree is a huge financial and time commitment, and the school you select should adequately reflect your ultimate career goals. For instance, if you are not interested in working in Economic Security, it would not benefit you to attend a masters program that emphasized that in the curriculum, not matter how sublime the weather or the social scene. The focus here should really be on your career and your long-term professional goals. And then, if you find two programs that are equally appealing, you can pick the one that has the warmer climate.

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